Date of Award

11-1-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Second Advisor

Dr. Ganga Persuad

Third Advisor

Dr. Moses Norman

Abstract

Factors which influence low-income African-American middle school students in Mathematics were examined in this study. Likewise, this study examined the extent to which student achievement in mathematics at the middle school level in a metropolitan Atlanta school district may be explained by certain school and teacher related variables such as instructional strategies, classroom management, teacher expectations, site-based professional learning, and teacher satisfaction with resources and how these factors might impact or cause a difference in student achievement in math as measured by the 2007 Criteria Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) scores. The research presented in this dissertation provides a starting point for developing school plans to improve mathematics instruction. The practices identified reflect a mixture of emerging strategies and practices in long-term use. This study was based on the assumption that instructional strategies, classroom management, teacher expectations, site-based professional learning, and teacher satisfaction with resources would have a significant impact in middle school students’ math achievement. It is presumed that this study would assist leaders in providing quality instruction that would benefit teachers and low income, minority children. This study is expected to further assist principals and/or leaders in providing quality leadership that will benefit middle school teachers in low-income School Wide Title I middle schools and meet the needs of their students. The significance of this study is in assistance that it can give administrators in structuring site-based professional learning and development programs along with arranging for monitoring and communication methods that will meet the needs of teachers and students. Additionally, this research will add to a body of scholarship and may cause individuals to examine and put into place, or remove certain policies and practices in middle school math classes. As a final point, this research will determine the need for additional research. The methodology employed a quantitative, quasi-experimental, ex-post facto design to review possible variables that may affect student achievement in mathematics grades six through eight. The researcher found that there was no relationship between student achievement in mathematics and the independent variables. The only significant relationship found in this study was that there was a relationship between student achievement in mathematics as measured by the CRCT and teacher preparation. Teachers with college or university based preparation had students with higher student achievement performance levels.

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